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Now that I have income, help me mod my car

TheRedburnTheRedburn Spaceman KDetroit, MI Icrontian

I recently got a job again, and I want to make my car something worth driving. I also think it'd be great experience learning to work on my vehicle, so I'm asking y'all to recommend parts that'll make my 1996 Geo LSI faster, or just more efficient. So far, the car is all stock

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Comments

  • UPSLynxUPSLynx Top EA shill, The Dean of Computer Graphics Redwood City, CA Icrontian

    Don't do an aftermarket cold air intake. Sure, it'll be sweet for 4 years, you'll enjoy an AMAZING sound from the engine when you punch the gas, and maybe even faster throttle response, but eventually you'll just be a dummy like me and break some bolts and then your engine will look like this.

    Stock life ain't so bad.

    CBTheRedburnUPSKingpin
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    @TheRedburn said:
    I recently got a job again, and I want to make my car something worth driving. I also think it'd be great experience learning to work on my vehicle, so I'm asking y'all to recommend parts that'll make my 1996 Geo LSI faster, or just more efficient. So far, the car is all stock

    Learn how to take care of regular maintenance stuff. A lot of the time, you can get a lot of power back from an older engine with just a simple tune up and a good oil change.

    pigflipper
  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2016

    @Sonorous said:

    @TheRedburn said:
    I recently got a job again, and I want to make my car something worth driving. I also think it'd be great experience learning to work on my vehicle, so I'm asking y'all to recommend parts that'll make my 1996 Geo LSI faster, or just more efficient. So far, the car is all stock

    Learn how to take care of regular maintenance stuff. A lot of the time, you can get a lot of power back from an older engine with just a simple tune up and a good oil change.

    A thousand times this. My first car, also a Prizm, was a hand-me-down from my older sister and had all kinds of neglect. Even such basic maintenance as doing its first oil change in years, rotating the tires, and replacing the fouled up spark plugs/janky spark plug wires made a huge improvement.

    You're no doubt aware that a Prizm is a Corolla that was assembled by General Motors under license from Toyota. I'd recommend checking out the Corolla rice race scene to find out what your options are.

    UPSLynx
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat I am the hatchet man, look over your shoulder Icrontian

    @Sonorous said:

    @TheRedburn said:
    I recently got a job again, and I want to make my car something worth driving. I also think it'd be great experience learning to work on my vehicle, so I'm asking y'all to recommend parts that'll make my 1996 Geo LSI faster, or just more efficient. So far, the car is all stock

    Learn how to take care of regular maintenance stuff. A lot of the time, you can get a lot of power back from an older engine with just a simple tune up and a good oil change.

    @Ryder said:
    Fix first, mod later. Replace worn parts, check for cracked/bent/broken lenses, lights, etc.

    I so totally agree that it isn't funny. Even though my wild side says; wheel well flares, hood scoop, exhaust, turbo and big meats. I did all kids of things to cars from an early age. And even dropped a transmission on my chest at 16yo.

    primesuspectGHoosdum
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Guys, just remember what it was like to be 17 and have your first car. Can't crush that excitement ;)

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    When we all started on Icrontic we were Kyle's age.

    Every thread was "Guys, recommend me stuff to upgrade my stuff"

    The community's response was reciprocated enthusiasm: "Oh man, that's awesome. This is my favorite. Try this. Check this out. I heard this is coming. I'd wait three months for this"

    Whether or not it was practical or possible or smart... it was fun.

    Nowadays, the community's response is... not as fun :-/

    Kwitko
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian

    Prob not worth making that faster. You're already limited by those pesky speed limits so focus on making it enjoyable to drive. Then it doesn't matter how fast it is. Do the standard million point inspection (oil, wires, plugs, tune up, blah blah blah) and then purchase an alarm, deck, amp, premium replacement speakers and a 12 in sub (maybe 2?). Replacement speakers are important because stocks will most likely blow once you put some power behind them. Once installed, rock that shit. Be mindful of any vibrations and fix those asap.

    -Digi

    UPSLynxTheRedburnTushonRyanFodder
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat I am the hatchet man, look over your shoulder Icrontian

    The best part about the basic maintenance is that it helps with pride of ownership, accomplishment and being familiar with your ride.

    I'm surprised @drasnor didn't suggest SPINNERS.

    drasnor
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    Right.. so on to the fun stuff. Still should make sure the brakes work correctly/efficiently. We talked about this at Expo.
    The only bolt on modifications to make it go faster will be a new intake with more efficient air flow.
    Then would be a reworked exhaust manifold to go along with that. Better air out = more air in and more efficiency/power.
    Air filter, not so much with stock setup, probably wouldn't make a difference. After the above mentioned mods, might work more.
    Bolting a Turbo on the vehicle would definitely soup it up, would be very worried that the engine could take it though, especially high mileage.

  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian

    UNDERGLOOOWWW (in white!)

    BobbyDigiTheRedburn
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @Linc said:

    If you'd asked in 2002 how to get the most out of a Pentium 3 Gateway you'd have gotten exactly the same types of responses: boring utility apps, clean the heatsink, defrag your drive, maybe add a stick of memory. Not "try this neon lighting kit". :scratch:

    Oh please. You straight-up threadcrapped. "SAVE FOR COLLEGE INSTEAD, YOU WHIPPERSNAPPER" with a snarky-ass LMGTFY. Not the same.

  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian

    @Linc said:

    @primesuspect said:
    When we all started on Icrontic we were Kyle's age.

    Every thread was "Guys, recommend me stuff to upgrade my stuff"

    Dear Internet commenter, did you read the OP? He didn't ask to pimp his ride, he literally asked for efficiency. Telling him to add spinners would probably not help.

    If you'd asked in 2002 how to get the most out of a Pentium 3 Gateway you'd have gotten exactly the same types of responses: boring utility apps, clean the heatsink, defrag your drive, maybe add a stick of memory. Not "try this neon lighting kit". :scratch:

    Nean underglow is illegal in Michigan when the car is in motion. :digi:

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @primesuspect said:
    Oh please. You straight-up threadcrapped.

    Ah right, no one on Icrontic was sarcastic or funny before. My bad.

    GHoosdumUPSLynx_k
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian

    @primesuspect said:
    Guys, just remember what it was like to be 17 and have your first car. Can't crush that excitement ;)

    I remember being young and wanting to mod my car. On the model-specific forums I frequented for my cars back then I used to read stories from internet geniuses like my boat-anchor who once clamped off a ruptured brake line instead of replacing it. SUPER SAFE, TIM.

    I'd rather follow @Linc's advice and defrag and run memtest.

  • UPSLynxUPSLynx Top EA shill, The Dean of Computer Graphics Redwood City, CA Icrontian

    @primesuspect said:
    Nowadays, the community's response is... not as fun :-/

    We all turned into crotchety old folk.

    CBMt_GoatAnnes
  • NullenVoydNullenVoyd Orlandish Icrontian

    @TheRedburn
    Congrats on the job!

    If what you have in that Geo is anything like a car a neighbor of mine had, you have a wonderfully efficient and compact form of transportation that should hold up given good maintenance. That said, if you are looking for something faster, it would be much better to start with a different car. However...

    There are some great simple things you can do to get more out of your ride, and learn about taking care of a car in general. Even if you don't have any interest in being a mechanic, knowing how these machines work is just, well, kinda awesome. I mean, it makes millions of small explosions, all in a relatively small metal box, and converts them into force that spins the tires. I still find that pretty cool, and I've been tinkering with these things since mom taught me how to take care of cars, effing forever ago.

    First things I would suggest you look into: (Research everything for your specific car extensively before even trying anything!!)

    OIL CHANGE, OIL CHANGE OIL CHANGE! - Aside from keeping gas in the thing, this is what makes the difference of a car lasting a few months, to more years than you actually want it to. Read up, ask around, get advice from mechanics on how to do this properly on your car, but definitely give it a go.

    TIRE HEALTH! - These are your ONLY CONNECTION TO THE ROAD. If your tires aren't good, you're loosing efficiency, traction, ability to apply what power you have to the road, and stopping power. Study up on signs of wear, how to gauge tread depth, keep them properly inflated, rotate them during oil changes. The bright side for you on this car - new tires should be fairly cheap (compared to other cars at least), so if they are in bad shape, it shouldn't take much to replace them.

    Check Fluids - You have coolant, oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid, and even grease points in the suspension. Know where they are, how to properly gauge them ('engine running' oil level will be different than 'engine off' level), and what to use to fill them back up (very important! - not all fluids even of the same name are created equal).

    Intake System - Checking / replacing the air filter, air hoses, and even cleaning the throttle assembly can be cheap and easy things you can do to increase power and efficiency. Do not believe all the crap about aftermarket intakes. They can be fun, don't get me wrong, but as @UPSLynx attests to, they come with their own issues (even with Injen, which as far as I know is a well-established good brand for intake systems).

    Ignition System - This starts to require you do a bit more research before you tear into things - breaking off a spark plug in the engine is not something you want to do. But, spark plugs, wires, coils, and the associated distributor stuff are all wear points that can be improved with replacement of stock or 'performance' parts.

    Fuel System - Definitely get some help before tackling this on your own. The injectors can be cleaned / replaced, the fuel filter can be checked, the lines and injector rails can be inspected for leaks, clogs, or defects.

    Where to go from there?
    Many of the other components, like brakes, suspension, exhaust - start requiring some specialized tools and knowledge. Brakes are a good next step to learn, but really, go where you like from here. Hell, put in a crazy sound system and have your friends all paint something different on each panel of the car!

    Lastly, TAKE PICTURES, and LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES!

    primesuspectTheRedburn
  • TheRedburnTheRedburn Spaceman K Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @Ryder said:
    Right.. so on to the fun stuff. Still should make sure the brakes work correctly/efficiently. We talked about this at Expo.
    The only bolt on modifications to make it go faster will be a new intake with more efficient air flow.
    Then would be a reworked exhaust manifold to go along with that. Better air out = more air in and more efficiency/power.
    Air filter, not so much with stock setup, probably wouldn't make a difference. After the above mentioned mods, might work more.
    Bolting a Turbo on the vehicle would definitely soup it up, would be very worried that the engine could take it though, especially high mileage.

    I got a whole new front brake system: Calipers, Rotors, and Pads. All good there!

    Thanks everybody for the recommendations! I'll start looking into general maintenance and replacing older parts, and then I'll start adding in better parts. I'll try to keep y'all updated! Here is the Geo getting it's new brakes

  • TheRedburnTheRedburn Spaceman K Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Lol college is for nerds no thanks

    UPSLynxCBRyanFodderGHoosdum
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    With regards to replacing worn parts, if you find a part is worn out and needs replacing. Decide if that part is something you want to mod. I mean, if you have to get the exhaust replaced, consider the upgrade/see what is available.
    Don't pay for something twice (stock replacement now and then modded later) if you can help it.
    Sometimes the mod parts can be quite pricey, so it may come down to what is necessary vs what you want.

    TheRedburnMt_GoatWagsFTW
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian

    @TheRedburn said:

    @Ryder said:
    Right.. so on to the fun stuff. Still should make sure the brakes work correctly/efficiently. We talked about this at Expo.
    The only bolt on modifications to make it go faster will be a new intake with more efficient air flow.
    Then would be a reworked exhaust manifold to go along with that. Better air out = more air in and more efficiency/power.
    Air filter, not so much with stock setup, probably wouldn't make a difference. After the above mentioned mods, might work more.
    Bolting a Turbo on the vehicle would definitely soup it up, would be very worried that the engine could take it though, especially high mileage.

    I got a whole new front brake system: Calipers, Rotors, and Pads. All good there!

    Thanks everybody for the recommendations! I'll start looking into general maintenance and replacing older parts, and then I'll start adding in better parts. I'll try to keep y'all updated! Here is the Geo getting it's new brakes

    SO WHEN ARE YOU GETTING AN UNDERGLOW remember no neon

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    Since you've had some concerns with handling, I'd recommend looking into your wheel/tire setup when you've done all of the above adulting bits mentioned. As long as the suspension is confirmed solid, of course.

    One thing I found was helpful was to get the overall diameter/circumference of your existing wheel/tire setup and make decisions that keep you within a narrow margin of that. Generally going larger or smaller messes with your speedometer/mileage, which has far-reaching consequences.

    Alloy/aluminum wheels will reduce weight, giving you a small (if not noticeable) boost in efficiency and joy of driving. Going with a slightly larger rim (and correspondingly lower-profile tire to keep diameter/circumference the same) along with a moderately wider tire (but not terribly so because the wheel wells are only so big) will also improve driving enjoyment/power delivery to pavement, with the added bonus of curb-appeal.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    @primesuspect said:
    Guys, just remember what it was like to be 17 and have your first car. Can't crush that excitement ;)

    @Sonorous said:
    you can get a lot of power back from an older engine with just a simple tune up and a good oil change.

    UPSLynx_k
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian

    Since the Prism is a Toyota Corolla in Geo clothing, you've got a ton of options. Let's have a little fun shall we?

    Your car is an AE100. A means it has an A-series engine. E100 is the chassis code. That means you can pretty much swap in any front-wheel drive A-series engine, and use suspension and other parts from other E10x cars.

    So you should be able to swap in a factory-supercharged 4A-GZE motor (~170hp) and a 5 or possibly 6-speed (C160) manual transmission. It would bolt in, but you'll definitely have some wiring work to do, unless you buy a custom wiring harness from somebody like Tweak'd Performance. And once you have the strong 4A-GZE block in the car you can crank up the boost with a different supercharger pulley, or take off the supercharger and put on a turbo. The iron block and upgraded internals are built to handle the added power.

    But with more power, you'll want a stiffer suspension. Get coilovers. Get new wheels and wider tires.

    UPSLynxKwitko
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    I think one of the best things you can do is get four new aluminum wheels, @TheRedburn. Having one that doesn't match the other three right now, and all of the existing ones are mottled and rusty anyways; four new wheels would make things look awesome and also give you a smoother ride since if you remember, the guys at the suspension shop mentioned that one of them is slightly bent and "is as good as it's going to get".

    BuddyJRyanFodder_k
  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @Mt_Goat said:
    The best part about the basic maintenance is that it helps with pride of ownership, accomplishment and being familiar with your ride.

    I'm surprised @drasnor didn't suggest SPINNERS.

    Man, how could I forget those spinners. @Mt_Goat has seen my Prizm with spinners.

  • TheRedburnTheRedburn Spaceman K Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Looks like my car has some poor rear suspension, so that's number 1. I guess #2 has to be new wheels!

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja I don't know how to not Icrontian

    Fuck yeah team corolla!

    UPSLynx
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